Intellectual platform

Production and Appropriation: (Non)Exhibition Strategies of Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art in the Regional Economy: Asset, Industry and Lifestyle

The Symposium of the 2nd Ural industrial biennial

Intellectual platform

Dates: March 27 – October 22, 2012
Venus: Ural Federal University, NCCA
Curator: Andrey Shcherbenok

The Intellectual Platform of the Biennial is a series of conferences, seminars, and roundtables that have been going on in Ekaterinburg since March 2012. The platform engages the international community in discussing questions that the biennial poses for both its local and global environments; it seeks to contribute to the formation of a common language that would make the biennial and contemporary art in general more meaningful and consequential for its diverse audiences.

Introductory research seminar Production and Appropriation: (Non) Exhibition Strategies of Contemporary Art was held on March 27-30, 2012 and included a series of plenary sessions, lectures, a roundtable and an announcing press conference. The seminar addressed the issues of artistic production and viewer’s consumption, material and symbolic economy, the artistic appropriation of urban spaces and audiences. Among the participants of this seminar were Josep Acebillo, Yaroslava Bubnova, Iris Dressler, Valentin Dyakonov, Kristoffer Gansing, and Filipa Ramos.

A panel discussion “Art in the Age of Post-Fordism: A Critique of the Total Context” took place on June 1, 2012 as part of the interdisciplinary conference “The Contours of Post-Fordism in Contemporary Russia: Between Uncertainty and Stable Institutions”. The panel participants analyzed the notion of art in the context of the transition from a Fordist to a post-Fordist society; the relationship between knowledge economy, capital accumulation, creative industries and artistic practices; strategies that art can or cannot employ to sustain a critical distance to the surrounding social, political, and economic reality. Boris Kagarlitsky, Don Kalb, Sergey Kropotov, Leonid Salmin, Andrey Shcherbenok and others took part in the discussion.

A roundtable “Contemporary Art in the Regional Economy: Asset, Industry and Lifestyle” is another event of the Intellectual Platform held on July 13 as part of the Ural International Exhibition and Forum of Industry and Innovations “Innoprom-2012”. The questions and issues of contemporary art as a resource for regional development, an object of investment and a smart commodity, local and international cultural markets, significance and functions of art in a specific regional context were discussed by a number of experts including Alla Aleynikova, Nick Appelbaum, Alisa Prudnikova, Christina Steinbrecher, Guy Vesey and others.

A “How to Form an Art Collection” roundtable – a special project of UBS bank – will take place on 15 September and will discuss such issues as starting a collection, the history and origin of works of art, legal and customs aspects of collecting. Alla Aleynikova, Patricia Amberg, Mikhail Makhotin, Alisa Prudnikova, Gregg Robins will be among the participants.

The Symposium of the Biennial will take place September 13-15 during the Biennial’s vernissage week; it will continue delving into the topics of the role and critical potential of art in the (post)industrial economy, social and urban spaces. In its other dimension, the symposium will put into scrutiny the topic of the biennial's main project -- "The Eye Never Sees Itself" – and will explore the problems of specificity of artistic vision, its dependence on and autonomy from the world in new media, digital art and cinema.

The biennial’s Educational Program is designed for a wide audience; it will begin before the opening of the biennial with a series of Artist Talks and continue during the vernissage week with an Open Lecture Series, which will include lectures by Pascal Gielen, Andrea Lissoni, Cuauhtemoc Medina, Christiane Paul, David Raskin, and Domietta Torlasco. Further lectures of the series will start right after the vernissage week and will be held two times a week throughout the biennial. They will explore the notion of the biennial, the specificity of this format and its impact on the artistic and curatorial work, as well as wider problems addressed by the biennial projects.

A Post-Biennial seminar will take place on 18-21 October, during the last week of the Biennial. It will bring together established curators and scholars as well as a student research group who will analyze the interaction between the biennial exhibitions and the urban environment of Ekaterinburg. The key themes of the biennial will be critically compared with the meanings that artworks and curatorial projects acquire in their actual contexts.

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